Saturday, March 29, 2014

defying the laws of god and man or: dyeing synthetic fabrics

there comes a time in every goths life in which we have to dye something black. it is, frankly, inevitable. 
it's frustrating to dye things that are made of synthetic fibers. or so i've heard. because of that, i never tried it. i've dyed things (silk, cotton) with regular old RIT dye and those always came out fine. but i've stayed away from synthetics, until now.

i went to consign some clothes and these were a couple that were rejected. the woman at the store kept complimenting the dress and i told her--yes, i love it, but the colour just isn't me. the shape is very flattering and it's this really awesome pinup dress, but i just don't love the blue. she suggested i dye it. i told her it was hard to dye synthetics. she shrugged it off, but then i thought, what the hell. why not try it? if i was going to get rid of these clothes anyway, why not see if i can dye them?
 stuff i used:
1. blue dress (polyester/rayon/spandex) by pinup couture
2. pastel skirt (nylon) from urban outfitters
3. idye poly, black dye specifically for synthetic fabrics
4. idye black dye for fabrics
5. 3 gallon stock pot
6. (not pictured) 1 cup of salt and a good deal of water
 please forgive my messy kitchen. i kept that rag in the corner on hand in order to wipe up any spills. i also put it too close to the burner at one point and nearly burned my house down. please do not make this mistake.
i filled the pot most of the way with water and placed it on the heat, dissolved the dye packets and colour intensifier in it, per instructions, then pre-wet the skirt and the dress (so the dye water will saturate more easily) and added them to the pot.
 once the water was at a boil, i added a cup of non-iodized salt (again, per the instructions on the package... i have no idea what the salt did). i let the clothes boil for about an hour. it said that for even dye coverage it was preferable to agitate (stir, not annoy) the fabric constantly, but while i did want an even colour, i did not want to stand over a hot stove for an hour stirring until my arm fell off. 
 the packaging said to let the clothes cool down gradually, so i took the stock pot off the heat and placed it in my shower to cool down (i would have left it on the stove but i wanted to make dinner). yes the shower tiles are kind of pink--it turns that colour when i dye my hair. it's not permanent though! when the water had cooled (which actually took a pretty long time--about an hour and a half until i took them out to wash them) i rinsed them individually in the sink with laundry soap until the water ran clear. it is advised on the packaging to just run a wash cycle with the clothes, but i didn't have enough quarters for laundry, so i just did it by hand.
 here they are hanging out to dry. i'm really impressed at how they turned out! the colour is very black, and it looks pretty even to me. the stitching on the blue dress remained blue, which i thought was kind of odd, but i like it as it adds some interest to the dress. and now it's something i'm much more likely to wear!
 here are some awkward selfies of me in the dress. the skirt is still drying--the underskirt apparently holds water way too well--but i'll take some pictures of that as well once it is dry!

Monday, March 10, 2014

eye belt diy

i've said it before--diy is one of my favourite ways to create things that i want that i either can't afford or can't find--particularly things that don't exist. this belt was inspired by the unif eyesore belt--i was considering buying it on sale, but then it sold out, so i figured i might as well make my own.
 eyeball cabochons are from aliexpress, but i've also seen similar ones on etsy and other various supply sites. i chose to use a mix of green and blue eyeballs, and to alternate them.
e6000 is probably my favourite glue, it bonds really securely. i fixed a ring that i wear every single day with e6000 and it hasn't fallen apart on me yet, even though i catch it on stuff all the time.
i got the belt from h&m because i have a gift card, but this would be easy to do on any belt--whether it's thrifted or you already had it lying around.
 i was just going to eyeball (ha!) the spacing but then i figured i'd measure it out just to make it even. i ended up placing one cabochon every two inches. 
 i placed each eyeball before starting to glue them down.
done and drying! i left some space at the end where the holes are so i could drill some extra holes, since the belt was a little big for me. 

sorry i haven't been posting more, the major project i've been working on lately is a surprise gift for a relative so i don't want to be posting pictures of it online quite yet!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

brienne of tarth

 i made this a while back but it hasn't really been warm enough to wear it yet. 
brienne of tarth is my favourite character in the a song of ice and fire series, and i'm looking forward to seeing more of her in season 4 of game of thrones! she's super cool, and gwendoline christie, who plays her, is a bit of a hero to me. at 6'3'', she's even taller than i am.
i wanted to make this because there really isn't much merch of her or her house. using negative space here was actually a bit of an accident, as the panels in the crest with the moons in them are blue and i didn't have any blue fabric paint (and didn't want to go to the store to get some because it was cold) so i just painted the rest of the shield and used the fabric colour as my blue.